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Product Review: Ashok Leyland Dost

Published On Feb 03, 2020By Trucksdekho Editorial Team

The light commercial vehicle segment in India is the most promising segment of the CV industry, growing consumption, expanding cities and boom in the e-commerce industry has altered the last-mile delivery dynamics. Truck makers have been responding to this change by bringing innovative and compact trucks. We look at one such product-Ashok Leyland Dost.   

Chennai based commercial vehicle manufacturer Ashok Leyland, and the second-largest medium and heavy commercial vehicle is rather late in joining the growing light commercial vehicle segment in India. The company finally entered this vital segment with extensive market research and an in-depth study of the stakeholders. In 2011, the company introduced the original Dost that was the first-ever product that comes out of the Indian Japanese commercial vehicle joint venture - Ashok Leyland Nissan Vehicles. The compact truck become came with frugal engineering and a distinct blend of durability and reliability, both part of Ashok Leyland’s DNA.

The Dost was based on the popular Nissan truck from the ’80s, the C22 Vanette but came in much more modern avatar in build quality and features. Dost offered a payload of 1.25 ton with a bigger loading area than the market-leader Tata Ace. Ashok Leyland's decades of CV market understanding and the most suitable products ensured Dost become a success right from the word go. Over the years, Ashok Leyland continues to improving this highly successful product and introduced several variants to cater to the widest applications and customer needs in the sub-2-ton mini truck segment.

Ashok Leyland Dost family consists of the following:

Features and USP’s:

The Ashok Leyland Dost platform is an ideal vehicle for changing the dynamics of last-mile transportation in India. The product has also seen a great response from far off hilly regions as well, largely owing to its car-like manoeuvrability and comfort. The features that make it such a success are:

Performance Areas:

  • Best in class Mileage – 19.6 km/litre*
  • High Rated Payload – 1.475 Ton for Dost+
  • Excellent Power and Pickup
  • 3 Cylinder, 1478 cc. 58 hp TDCR Diesel Engine
  • Largest load body length - 8.7 ft long Load Body for Dost+
  • Aerodynamic Design
  • Fully Built and Cabin Chassis Options for Dost Xpress School bus/people mover.

Comfort:

  • Durable Rigid Front Leaf Spring Suspension
  • Low Turning Radius
  • Easy to Drive – Power Steering
  • Optional Air Conditioner

Safety:

  • Front Impact Absorption Bar
  • Load Sensing Proportioning Valve (LSPV) with Booster Brakes
  • ELR Seat Belts
  • Tail Lamp Protector

Convenience:

  • Digital Cluster
  • Mobile Holder and Charger
  • Lockable Glove Box
  • Bottle Holder

Competition:

The Ashok Leyland Dost range of mini trucks has been around for almost a decade now and over the past few years have had to deal with a crop of new products in the category. However, the platform still offers incredible value and ease of use that makes it tough for its rivals to match it on many counts. Its main rivals include the likes of – Tata Ace range, Mahindra Supro, Piaggio Porter, Maruti Suzuki Super Carry, Tata Yodha range, Mahindra Bolero Pik Up range, among others.

Verdict

Ashok Leyland is known to offer products that are not just the most fuel, but reliability is key to the company’s promise to its customers. The Dost range of mini trucks carries this promise by offering a robust chassis and suspension arrangement with a load body that is widest and the longest in its class and a highly frugal engine added to the mix. This makes the Dost a product that serves several applications quite comfortably.

A customer can carry a higher capacity load to longer distances, ensuring more profit every trip. Ashok Leyland Dost range is undoubtedly the smoothest performance mini-truck in the market with arguably the best NVH in the segment as well.

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